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Tops Tips for Supporting Spelling


A short guide to helping your child with their spelling.

Good spelling is a fundamental part of a child's literacy development.


Reception and Years 1-2


Spelling, within Reception and Year 1, is linked to the pupils’ phonic programme. The primary skills for reading and spelling which Whitehall’s phonics programme highlights are blending and segmenting.  In year 2 pupils will then progress to spelling bands.


During daily phonics sessions, pupils will have opportunity to learn strategies for spelling, including spelling patterns linked to the phases. They will also practise recalling key/tricky words.


If your child is unsure about how to spell a word, encourage them to sound the word out and write the letter or group of letters (the grapheme) represents each sound (the phoneme). Then they will realise that they know how to spell some, most or all of the word and you can help with any tricky bits as needed.


Years 3-6


Spelling in Years 3-6 will be taught in line with the spelling patterns, rules and key words indicated in the 2014 Primary National Curriculum.


During weekly spelling lessons pupils will be tested on the spelling patterns, rules and key words learnt in the previous lesson.  This will be completed on the current weeks spelling sheet.


Children in Key Stage 2 are expected to be able to spell many words but some may still cause them problems. It can be helpful to look through your child's writing together and find the words that they often spell incorrectly. Choose no more than three at a time. Ask your child which bit of the word they find tricky to remember. In this way your child can focus on the small bit of the word they find difficult rather than the whole word. It's less daunting. For example, children often spell 'many' incorrectly because they hear 'e' in the middle of the word. So saying it in a different/silly way might help them to remember it. If your child says 'man- y' then this could help them spell the word correctly.



Spelling Strategies


Many children use the look cover write check method to learn their spellings


  • Look at a spelling word.
  • Cover the spelling word.
  • Visualize the covered word in the mind.
  • Write the word from memory.
  • Check what has been written with the uncovered word.


However there are a range of other strategies that can be used to help to. These include:


  • Breaking words into sounds ( d-i-a-r-y)
  • Breaking words into syllables (re-mem-ber)
  • Breaking words into affixes (dis +  satisfy)
  • Using a mnemonic (necessary has one collar and two sleeves)
  • Referring to a word in the same family (muscle – muscular)
  • Saying it as it sounds (Wed-nes-day)
  • Finding words within words (I am in Parliament)
  • Using a key word (horrible/drinkable for able and ible)
  • Appling  spelling rules (writing, written)
  • Creating a visual memory (look-cover-say-write-check)



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